Timo Werner’s position at Chelsea could come under threat once Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are fully fit and back up to speed, says Mark Schwarzer.
The Blues invested heavily in another proven frontman over the summer.
Value was expected to be found in a £47.5 million ($65m) deal for Werner, with the Germany international attracting interest from across Europe with his prolific exploits for RB Leipzig.
He has hit eight goals for Chelsea since moving to England, but a nine-game barren run is seeing questions asked of his value and end product.
Werner’s confidence has taken a hit during his struggles in the final third, with a number of opportunities that he would be expected to snap up suddenly passing him by.
Frank Lampard has plenty of alternative options available to him if he wants to shuffle his pack at Stamford Bridge, with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud competing for a central striking berth.
In wide areas, United States international Pulisic and Moroccan playmaker Ziyech have shown that they can be important parts of the fold, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is eager to see more game time.
Schwarzer believes Werner could be the one to drop out when Chelsea are at full strength, with the 24-year-old failing to stake a serious claim to retaining his role.
The former Blues goalkeeper told Stadium Astro: “If he’s contributing by doing a lot of work in the game, helping the team be successful, getting in the right areas, helping with assists, then I can understand why he stuck with him.
“Don’t forget as well that Frank has had to balance some injuries – whether it is Pulisic, Ziyech in and out of the side.
“If we had a fully fit Pulisic and Ziyech, it may be a different situation for Timo Werner. He may find himself on the outside.
“I think it is only a matter of time. Add Hudson-Odoi to that mix, he has struggled with injuries. Timo Werner is the only one out of those four that has been fit all the time.”
Chelsea, with fitness issues still clouding their plans, will be back in Premier League action on Boxing Day when they take in a derby date with out-of-sorts London neighbours Arsenal.